Developing your product or an idea for service and securing funding might seem like a piece of cake when compared with registering a trademark. It is painfully easy to unintentionally steal someone’s intellectual property if you do not follow all of the necessary steps to prevent such an oversight. Moreover, without support, a business owner can become the victim of theft too easily.
US trademark law ensures that a person’s brand name, symbol, or catch phrase is protected against theft. If a brand is registered and another business tries to use the same name, logo, or phrase to sell its products, the owner of this brand can initiate legal proceedings to stop this from happening and to collect damages if a breach has hurt the plaintiff’s profits. Protecting your rights is important, especially in the Internet age. When someone types a phrase into a search engine, you do not want your name leading a client to another company. Your name or slogan should automatically lead a customer to your door. Otherwise, what would be the good of registering a US trademark at all?
Protecting yourself takes research, something you can do alone. The process takes time, and a search should be done both federally and on each state database if it is going to be complete. The application is costly, however, so an applicant cannot afford to be lax.
Providing a thorough and accurate description of your product or service is not always easy, and this is where many of people are tripped up. Their inaccuracies open the door for someone else to use a similar catchphrase or brand name, so long as their product is substantially different from the one described. This is one reason why it is such a good idea to get a lawyer involved, one who is fluent in US trademark law. A lawyer can do one or all of the things listed below:
- Complete a trademark search, either federal or state
- Guide you as you complete your trademark application form, assisting you to be as accurate as possible
- Write a letter of opinion stating his belief that your name is not being used
- Protect your trademark for the future
Small startup companies and self-employed individuals do not usually hire lawyers on a retainer to represent their interests or keep a law department of their own. That kind of luxury is for large corporations. Small companies are vulnerable since there is no legal team automatically keeping an eye on their intellectual property or US trademark law. In the meantime, while doing what you do best, there is little time left to monitor the trademark for signs of infringement. Many businesses opt to hire the US trademark attorneys at Trademark Access to register and protect their trademarks for them.